FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified will expand its efforts to provide a highly engaging, globally focused education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade by seeking to establish a K-12 International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum.

The IB Continuum would begin with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Dolores Huerta International Academy and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Southridge Tech Middle School and in grades nine and 10 at Jurupa Hills High School. The Diploma Programme, offered to juniors and seniors at Jurupa Hills High School, would culminate the continuum.

“We want our students to thrive in an ever-changing professional future and are committed to providing educational tools for lifelong success,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Fontana Unified is proud to offer internationally focused learning opportunities that empower students to become engaged, forward-thinking global citizens.”

IB programs provide inquiry-led frameworks of learning that encourage students to become creative and critical thinkers, as well as service-learning approaches that inspire students to explore local and global issues in real-life contexts.

Dolores Huerta International Academy is in the candidate phase for the PYP. Teachers are receiving in-house and IB professional development as the school develops its IB units. The PYP is currently offered alongside the academy’s Spanish Dual Language program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Southridge Tech has applied for MYP candidacy, which it anticipates receiving in spring 2020. Students from Dolores Huerta International Academy will be allowed to enroll in the second year of Southridge Tech’s MYP as seventh-graders. Students from Southridge Tech’s other feeder elementary schools will be able to enroll in the MYP in sixth grade.

Jurupa Hills High School, which has offered the Diploma Programme since 2012, became an IB-authorized school for MYP in September. The high school will offer the MYP to ninth- and 10th-grade students in 2019-20.

“IB provides a framework and continuum that seamlessly connects K-12 student learning,” Southridge Tech Principal Dr. Roy Rogers said. “At Southridge Tech, we see this program unifying all of our programs as we provide learning experiences that build 21st century skills and global competencies. Our vision for our students is to inspire innovation, independence, and excellence so that our students are marketable and competitive – and IB will play a tremendous role in supporting those efforts.”

An IB Diploma can lead to advanced college standing, course credit, scholarships and other admissions benefits at prestigious colleges and universities worldwide.

“IB offers a great approach to education by taking what we do in the classroom and exploring it on a conceptual and practical level,” Jurupa Hills MYP Coordinator Randy Bertok said. “Students learn to apply their knowledge to the world around them. This continuum will introduce students to learning opportunities they may not have encountered otherwise.”